US Pacific Fleet in Sri Lanka on goodwill mission

The US Pacific Fleet and its transport ship USNS Fall River is in Sri Lanka for the first-ever Pacific Partnership goodwill mission to the island nation from March 6 to 18.

Working side-by-side with the Sri Lanka Navy and local organisations in the Hambantota region, this multinational effort includes free health clinics and disaster-relief efforts, the US embassy said on Monday.

"Through this Pacific Partnership mission, the US will continue to help Sri Lanka respond more quickly to humanitarian challenges," it said.

"At the same time, our Sri Lankan partners will share with us their valuable lessons learned from past natural disasters," the embassy quoted US Ambassador Atul Keshap as saying.

Pacific Partnership is the largest multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted each year in the Indo-Pacific region.

Military and civilian experts from Australia and Japan will participate in the exercise along with the US and Sri Lanka, the embassy said.